Stroke Training and Awareness Resources (STARs)


Joan has a combination of aphasia and dysarthia which has affected her ability to talk and understand what others are saying. She is trying to tell you something.

  • Approach Joan to establish what the problem is
  • Sit in front of her and make eye contact; it is important that Joan recognises that you are taking time to engage with her and as a result, she appears to calm down a little
  • Ask her to repeat what she said but taking her time to do so; this is good practice as you are giving Joan more time to get her message across; Joan repeats what she said and manages to tell you what she wants in this instance; however, if she had continued to struggle there are a number of ways you could have helped her to communicate

If you are having difficulty communicating effectively with an individual it is important that you don’t just assume that they are confused. Although a stroke may result in the individual experiencing cognitive/thinking problems and confusion you should establish whether in fact the person has communication problems.

You must also consider whether the person had any pre-existing conditions such as dementia prior to their stroke, or if they are hard of hearing.

Page last reviewed: 27 Jan 2020